Mandolin picks

Mandolin picks

Mandolin picks have a big effect on sound and playability of your mandolin and your playing.
The best mandolin picks definitely boost your sound, speed and volume.

Mandolin picks are important for every mandolin player, because the pick is the direct connection between the musician and the instrument.
A mandolin pick must feel comfortable. You should not have too much focus on the pick, it just has to feel right.
Now you can focus on the song you like to play.

Picks absolutely make the difference in tone. The nice thing about picks is that in fact, they’re not too expensive, so you are able to test-drive several different picks.
You definitely can find a good picks for less than $ 15.00.

Material

The material of the pick is important as you definitely should not want to play with softer materials like Delrin, Celluloid or Nylon. Softer materials don’t create the attack and pronounced clear tone you’re looking for. And of course, picks made out of softer materials do wear fast.
For more info on all different guitar pick materials, please check this page.

  • A good mandolin pick boosts your sound,
  • It will also be easier to gain speed and volume
  • Material of the pick is really important; the harder the better
  • Harder picks (1.5mm or thicker) will definitely sound better
  • Always have a bunch of picks available because you may lose them faster than you want

How to select your favorite mandolin pick

  • Try a bunch of mandolin picks, to see which one you prefer. You can easily do that at music shops or online.
  • If you’re taking lessons “ask your teacher”.

But the bottom line remains, you don’t know if a pick is good for you, until you try it.

Picks for mandolin

Mandolin picks for beginners

As a beginner there’s no point on buying an extremely expensive pick yet, especially if you have a habit of losing things.

You should wait till you develop more technique in your right hand, because then, subtle differences like picks can make a big difference.

For beginners, the only thing to remember it to get a hard pick, which means 1.5mm or thicker.

Handling Mandolin Picks

Mandolin picks are small and there is a chance you will lose yours, no matter how careful you are. So, it is always good to have a bunch of picks in your mandolin case so they are always good when you grab one.

ChickenPicks guitar picks for mandolin

Since there are no typical mandolin picks nor bass guitar picks or picks especially for guitar, there is a lot for you to choose from.

And of course, at ChickenPicks guitar picks we have several models that are used by many mandolin players worldwide.

You may check the whole range of picks on our website and find the one you like.

Read more about ChickenPicks guitar picks and the reason for me to make my own picks here.

Bermuda III & Bermuda III-XL

While all picks are useful for mandolin, there are some models that are sold most as mandolin picks. The Bermuda III picks have the classic triangle shape that is also called the 346 model. These picks are available in 2.1 & 2.7mm.

The Bermuda III-XL 2.1mm is the same model, but larger.

Mandolin vs guitar

The mandolin is much smaller than the guitar, which can make it easier and more comfortable to hold. However, if you have larger hands, the small spaces between the strings and the frets can make it more difficult to play accurately.

Famous mandolin players you should listen to would be:

  • Chris Thile
  • Bill Monroe
  • Rhonda Vincent
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Sierra Hull
  • Sam Bush

Mandolin tuning

Strumming- and picking wise a Mandolin would not be very difficult if you already can play guitar.

The problem may be in your fretting hand.

Guitars are tuned E-A-D-G-B-E, while a mandolin is tuned G-D-A-E.

So, the first 4 strings on a mandolin are tuned in mirror image compared to guitar.
This means that chords and all other things played on a mandolin are definitely different for guitar players.

For example, check the open G-chord on the first 4 strings for guitar and the same chord on mandolin; now you understand the difference.

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

Musikhaus Thomann
Chicago Music Exchange
Guitarpickreviews.com
Anatomy of guitar tone

Conclusion

It takes more than a boutique pick to be a good mandolin player.
Just sit down and know what you would like to play and what sound you’re looking for.

The balance of the instrument, strings, set up, how to mic it, the pick and attitude is what makes it work. The player’s skill is the most important thing.

Without practicing, not even the best pick in the world will make you a good musician. So, grab your mandolin, play and have fun!

Guitar essentials:

In guitar essentials we write about interesting things every guitarist should know a bit of, especially when you’re new to (electric) guitar.
We definitely don’t dig deep into theories or technical aspects.
You will find many scientific documents about anything somewhere on the internet.

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks, because we’d like to see if others would enjoy them as well.

I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly. I also play mandolin, but as a side instrument.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks

How to hold a guitar pick

How to hold a guitar pick

How to hold a guitar pick

People new to guitar, often ask us how to hold a guitar pick correctly. This is kind of basic for effective and comfortable playing.
Although there is no “exact” rule for how to hold a plectrum, it might be helpful to learn the basics.
We will teach you the step-by-step basics plus some extra useful information about guitar picks.

How to choose the right pick:

Beginners often find medium picks easiest to use, because due to the lack of knowledge in most music stores, extremely thin picks are recommended frequently.

In fact, we’re not a fan of flimsy cheap picks to start with on your carefully selected guitar. This is because thin picks can have a negative impact on your guitar playing.
Thick guitar picks, let’s say starting at ca. 2 mm have several benefits compared to thin picks.

To mention some benefits of thick guitar picks:

You might be interested in the 9 reasons to consider thick guitar picks.

The pick thickness (measured in millimeters) definitely has impact on the sound of the guitar.
Plectrums react differently with the strings based on the amount they bend and the hardness of the material.

Thin picks

Thinner picks create lower volume output and have a brighter sound with more treble.
The initial attack of a thinner pick is quite strong but fades quickly. In fact, you miss the full sound you expect.
Beginners may find it easier to start with thinner picks in the .73 to 1.00 mm range. But in any case, we advise you to test drive some different picks varying in different materials and thicknesses.

Another problem with thinner picks is the fact that they may bend easily. A pick that bends because of its flexibility, creates an unwanted delay in your playing.

boutique guitar picks

Thick picks

Thicker picks are more rigid, which translates to a warmer, louder sound with more mid- and bottom-end tones.
Thick picks (from around 1.5 mm and above) are popular with more advanced players and you’ll often see them in country, bluegrass, jazz, fusion and rock. 

Summary thickness

Ultimately, the thicker the pick, the more tonal control the player has.
Determining your preferred pick thickness comes down to experimenting with various picks.

How to hold the guitar pick:

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip. The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the (curled) index finger.
The index finger should be behind the pick, supporting it.
The point of the pick should face the same direction as your finger, perpendicular to your hand.

How to hold a guitar pick correctly

Hold the pick firmly enough that it doesn’t slip while playing, but not so tight that your hand becomes tense. Please be advised, the thinner the pick, the more firmly you have to grip the pick.
And this may cause fatigue, which is a common problem with guitar players.

Also, when using thin flexible picks, they will bend when gripping too firmly.

Over time you will find the best way that suits you in holding the pick the way that suits you most whether it’s for guitar and bass guitar as well as for mandolin picks.

How to correctly a guitar pick

Pick angling and -slanting

For speeding up your pick technique, the pick could be angled slightly toward the strings, which can help it glide through the strings smoothly.

For strumming, a slight angle helps the pick glide through the strings more easily.
You may try to angle your pick both clock- and counter clockwise, whatever suits you best.

For picking individual notes, turning the pick slightly clock- or counter clockwise may help not snagging onto the strings too much. Learn more about pick slanting.

With certain (boutique) picks you don’t have to angle the pick too much, when these have beveled edges.

Beveled edges
Beveled edges

Boutique picks / Beveled edges

Most boutique picks are (a little) thicker than cheap- and flimsy standard picks, like Dunlop 0.73 – 1.00 mm picks; or any other brand.
In most cases these have edges that are tapered or so-called beveled.

These beveled edges help to glide on- and off of the strings more easily and you don’t need to angle the pick too much. This is one of the benefits of thick guitar picks in relation to thin picks.

Improve your Picking technique

Once you’ve perfected how to hold the plectrum, you can work towards improving your picking speed and accuracy with some of the tips mentioned below.

Tips for Effective Picking

  • Relax Your Hand: Avoid gripping the pick too tightly; a relaxed hand reduces tension and improves playability. Thicker picks will help gripping less firmly, because these picks have more flesh to the bone to hold on.
  • Use Your Wrist: Most of the motion should come from your wrist rather than your arm or fingers.
  • Practice Different Techniques: Practice strumming, alternate picking, and other techniques to find out what feels most comfortable on how to hold a guitar pick.

Try hybrid picking

With hybrid picking, hold the pick between thumb and index finger and use your middle- and ring finger for plucking the strings at the same volume as you pick the strings with the pick.
You might even “pluck” the strings with both your fingers to get that snappy sound country guitar players produce.

In fact, you are in chicken picking style territory of guitar playing when doing this.
Use a clean-, compressed & flashy tone with single coil pick-ups and you’re done.

Of course, people use hybrid picking in many styles of music; Richard Hallebeek did a great lesson on hybrid picking in pentatonic sequences as used in fusion guitar playing.

Picking styles

When you play a riff or the individual notes of a chord, your first instinct may be to pluck each string with a downward stroke.
While this might seem like the most straightforward approach, it’s not the best habit to fall into. This downstroke-only technique is fine at slower speeds. It can be hard to keep up once you increase the tempo.

That said, there are picking styles that are famous for downstrokes-only picking; Django Reinhardt invented a style of jazz guitar in the 1940’s, which is called Gypsy guitar.
Most of the notes and chords in this style are played with downstrokes.

Alternate picking

Now we’re at the point where alternate picking comes in. This technique encourages an economy of motion. Instead of playing each string with a downward motion, alternate between picking “down” and picking “up” each time you change notes. You will notice you can play faster with alternate picking. Another benefit of alternate picking technique is the fact you prevent yourself from fatigue.

Choose the right pick

Now that you know how to hold a guitar pick and how to pick your guitar, it is time to find the perfect pick for your needs.
In the world of guitar picks there are many different sizes, shapes and materials to choose from.

The shape of guitar picks:

  • Model 351
    For the most people, the first shape that comes to mind is the model 351. Also called the “medium” standard pick. It is available in a variety of thicknesses from 0.45 up to 3.0mm or even more. We would not recommend the extremely light versions. Everything thinner than 0.73mm feels weird and sounds bad.
  • Model 651
    If you like smaller picks, you should ask for jazz-size shaped picks. These come with pointy- and rounded tips as well. These models also called the model 651 shape of picks. The pointy tips allow you to pick notes more accurate, which in most cases is needed when you would like to perfect your picking technique.
  • Model 346
    Another popular model of guitar picks is the triangle model 346. This is a plectrum that has (mostly) 3 equal usable tips. These feel (and mostly are) bigger than all other models. Model 346 picks are easy to hold on, but it might be more challenging to pick notes more precisely.Just try some of the mentioned picks and decide which one suits you most.
Model 351 pick

Thickness of the pick

When you start searching picks on the internet, you will find them in different thicknesses.
Every thickness has its pros & cons as we mentioned earlier.

At ChickenPicks guitar picks we provide all kinds of models. All of them with the unique characteristics of ChickenPicks guitar picks.

Material

ChickenPicks guitar picks are made of Thermoset, which is a thermosetting plastic. Due to the material and beveled edges our picks are definitely different than anything else on the planet.
Thermoset is the hardest plastic you can imagine and it is almost as hard as steel.
For this reason, these picks don’t wear too much on steel (electric) guitar strings; they last longer than any other pick brand.

The mass of the pick, caused by the material and thickness, create a bright top-end, with clear mid- and beefy bottom-end tones. Besides the wider spread in the tonal spectrum, ChickenPicks guitar picks cause less picking noise. Softer picks wear faster and may cause scratchy noise by the jagged edges.

Thickness

The thinnest ChickenPicks guitar picks model is our Badazz-III 2.0. This pick is 2.0 mm thick and is extremely popular with former Jazz-III users.
The thickest at the moment is the Shredder 3.5, which is 3.5 mm thick.

Because of the thickness of our picks, they all come with the same beveled edges.
Beveled edges with boutique picks have interesting benefits as you will read here.

Available models

  • Light – 351 model in 2.2 mm
  • Regular – 351 model in 2.6 mm
  • Shredder – 351 model, but 13% smaller and available in 2.4 and 3.5 mm
  • Badazz III – 651 model (Jazz III shaped) in 2.0 , 2.5 and 3.2 mm
  • Bermuda III – 346 model triangular pick in 2.1 and 2.7 mm
  • Bermuda III-P – 346 model triangular pick with extremely pointy tips in 2.1 and 2.7 mm
  • The Bermuda III-XL – 346 model Extra Large triangular pick in 2.1 mm

Variety sets

When you’re not sure what to choose, you might buy one of our variety sets. These provide different picks to try at a discount price.
Check ‘em out here.

9-set variety guitar picks or plectrums

Nothing fancy, just high quality guitar picks

The idea behind ChickenPicks guitar picks is just their pure quality. No fancy colors nor creative design, just the highest quality in guitar picks.

How to hold a bass guitar pick

Place the pick between thumb and index finger. You may include your middle-finger as well for the 3-finger pick grip. In many cases bass guitar picks are a little bigger than standard guitar picks.

Actually, holding a guitar pick for bass isn’t that different in relation to guitar. The only thing is that you need to grip a bit more firmly. As bass guitar strings (up to 0.130-inch) are way thicker than guitar strings (on average 0.046-inch), you need to pluck them much harder than guitar strings. Read more about bass guitar picks here.

As said, you may also grip a guitar pick with 3 fingers. Actually, there is no right or wrong on how to hold a guitar pick correctly.

3-finger grip for bass

How to hold a guitar pick for metal

Bend your index finger towards the guitar strings and place the pick between your index and thumb. Hold the pick loose between your fingers, because gripping too tightly, causes too much tension. Too much tension may cause fatigue and you won’t be able to speed up your playing for a longer period. You need a heavier pick that will generate more volume by itself instead of gripping too firmly

Grip for metal and speed.

How to hold a guitar correctly pick for speed

Bend your index finger towards the guitar strings and place the pick between your index and thumb. Hold the pick loose between your fingers, because gripping too tightly, causes too much tension. Too much tension may cause fatigue and you won’t be able to speed up your playing for a longer period.

With thinner non-beveled guitar picks, you could try to do some pick slanting. This means that you turn the pick slightly clock- or counter clockwise.
Many guitarists use small guitar picks like Jazz-III or teardrop style picks.
More info about small picks can be found here.

How to hold a guitar pick properly and strum

Place the pick between thumb and index finger. You may include your middle-finger as well for the 3-finger pick grip. Do not hold the pick too tightly. The pick may feel like it is kind of flexible. Extremely light picks could fly out of your hands when gripping very loosely.
Use a pick that is at least 1.5 – 2.0 mm thick for the best sound.

How to hold a guitar pick for acoustic

Bend your index towards the sound hole, place a pick on top and grip with your thumb.
For single note runs, you may grip a little more tightly because most acoustic guitar strings are at a thicker gauge compared to electric guitar. Read more about the best guitar picks for acoustic here.
For strumming, please check below.

How to hold a guitar pick for strumming correctly

Place the pick between thumb and index finger. You may include your middle-finger as well for the 3-finger pick grip. Do not hold the pick too tightly. The pick may feel like it is kind of flexible. Extremely light picks could fly out of your hands when gripping very loosely. Use a pick that is at least 1.5 – 2.0 mm for the best sound.

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

Musikhaus Thomann
Chicago Music Exchange
Guitarpickreviews.com
Anatomy of guitar tone

Guitar essentials:

In guitar essentials we write about interesting things every guitarist should know a bit of, especially when you’re new to (electric) guitar.
We definitely don’t dig deep into theories or technical aspects.
You will find many scientific documents about anything somewhere on the internet.

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks, because we’d like to see if others would enjoy them as well.

I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks

Bass guitar picks

bass guitar picks

Best bass guitar picks

Many people, new to bass guitar, ask me: What is the best pick for bass guitar?
Choosing a bass guitar pick (or plectrum) depends on different factors, such as material, thickness, shape, and texture, to find the best fit for your playing style and sound preference.

Bass picks vs guitar picks

In fact, picks that only are made solely for just bass guitar, do not exist.
That’s also the case in guitar picks for acoustic or mandolin picks.

The most multifunctional product

The guitar pick is the most multifunctional product in music industry. Although, it is for guitar related products.
Whether you play rhythm or solo, acoustic, electric- or bass guitar, you may choose any pick model, thickness or material.

Is there no difference between picks?

Of course, there are several differences in picks, like extremely pointy tips opposed to rounded tips and differences in thickness and material.

In general, you might want a rounder tip for bass guitar, because you need more mass to let the strings fully ring out. Extremely pointy picks provide less volume and for bass you need a lot of power.
In general, not too pointy and it needs to be rigid in a good way.
The pick shouldn’t bend too much, because it will affect the heavy bass strings not to let ring out the way you want.

Beveled- or straight edge?

Whatever you like in a pick, for bass guitar you may also want to choose the edge that fits your needs. In general, there are 2 ways to go.

Thicker picks bring strings closer to each other

The distance between the strings on a bass is much wider than with (6 string-)guitars in general.
For picking the strings more precisely, you need to minimize the distance between the strings.

This could be achieved by using a boutique thicker pick.
Although the strings won’t change distance to each other, the thick guitar pick makes it feel more comfortable to jump from string to string. This is because there is less space left with a thick guitar pick.

Less hand fatigue

According to the above-mentioned minimizing string distance, you will feel more relaxed in your picking hand and forearm.
This might also help avoiding hand fatigue, which is a problem many guitar playing people deal with.

Where to pick bass strings

A bass guitar produces extremely low bottom-end tones, so picking towards the bridge will be better. It will help in getting more punchy tones with a clear and bright sound. Finally, this may sound better in the mix when playing with a band.
Of course, this depends on the music that you play and which other instruments are in the band.
Usually there is no good or bad point of picking with bass guitar strings.

You might be interested in our blog about “how to make your guitar sound better”.

How to hold a bass guitar pick

In general, we advise to hold it between your thumb and index finger. Hold it loose with your fingers bent at the middle knuckle. It should be pointing out at a right angle to the thumb.

The rougher the music, the cleaner the bass guitar

Where guitars may sound dirty or clean with a nice edge, bass guitars in most cases sound very clean.
Just listen to several hard rock bands and you will notice a fairly clean bass sound.
Of course, there always are exceptions like the late Lemmy from Motörhead 🙂

Pick noise caused by cheap and flimsy picks

While the bass guitar sounds clean in most “musical” situations, you definitely want to avoid any form of picking noise. Pick noise can have several causes, such as jagged pick edges.
Especially with bass guitar, softer pick materials may wear fast.
The edges of your guitar pick must stay glossy during its life time, avoiding unwanted chirps.

bass guitar picks / jagged edges

Jagged edges occur with picks made out of softer materials.
This causes unwanted noises called chirp.

ChickenPicks guitar picks definitely don’t get chipped- or jagged edges because the material is extremely hard.

The hardest material available

ChickenPicks guitar picks are made of the hardest material available called “Thermoset”.
This is a thermosetting plastic which is used a lot in electronic devices and aerospace.
For more information about this unique product in music industry read our about page.

ChickenPicks guitar picks definitely won’t chip because this material is almost as hard as steel.

Bermuda III-XL 2.1 – [The bass pick]

At ChickenPicks guitar picks customers have been asking me to make typical bass guitar picks.

The model that came up to me was the old Fender large triangle pick in the thickness- and typical features of our unique picks. The pick is called the Bermuda III-XL 2.1.

It is 2.1mm thick and has beveled edges all over. This model is identical to our Bermuda III 2.1mm, but larger.

Perfect for bass, perfect for guitar as well

Although I designed the Bermuda III-XL 2.1 as a bass guitar pick, we see many people using this it for electric- and acoustic guitars as well.

So finally, is this one a specific “and only” bass guitar pick? The answer, in my opinion should be: “No”.

bass guitar picks

Which ChickenPicks guitar picks are perfect for bass?

Light 2.2: a standard 351 model guitar pick in 2.2mm
Regular 2.6: identical to the Light 2.2, but in 2.6mm thickness
Bermuda III 2.1: triangular pick with 3 rounded tips. Thickness: 2.1mm.
Bermuda III 2.7: same as 2.1 but in 2.7mm
The Bermuda III-XL 2.1: same as 2.1, but larger.

You may also like to check the measurements of all picks at the guitar pick sizes chart.
Click on image for more information.

guitar pick size chart


Small guitar picks

How to hold a guitar pick

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip. The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
The index finger should be behind read more…

Summary

Finally, there is no good or bad pick for bass guitar. Finding out what works best for you means that you just have to check different models, -brands and -sizes.

Usually people start with thinner (cheap) picks, but you should check out thicker picks as well as they have several benefits in relation to thin picks.

For the most comfort, a thicker pick with beveled edges will do the job perfectly, also for bass guitar.

Go for harder materials in case to avoid jagged edges, avoiding pick noise.

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

Musikhaus Thomann
Chicago Music Exchange
Guitarpickreviews.com
Anatomy of guitar tone

Guitar essentials:

In guitar essentials we write about interesting things every guitarist should know a bit of, especially when you’re new to (electric) guitar.
We definitely don’t dig deep into theories or technical aspects.
You will find many scientific documents about anything somewhere on the internet.

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks, because we’d like to see if others would enjoy them as well.

I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks

Best guitar picks for acoustic

Best guitar pick for acoustic

Best guitar picks for acoustic

Choosing the best guitar picks for acoustic guitar and the thickness of it, depends on personal preference, the material of the strings and the type of music you play.
However, there are some general guidelines that can help you make a decision in choosing the right pick for your acoustic guitar.

Which type of acoustic guitar

First of all, let’s check what kind of acoustic guitar do you have, or do you want to buy.
That might be anything between (nylon stringed) classical, or Spanish guitar, a Western acoustic (Dreadnought, OM, Parlor etc.).
You might also think of a Flamenco guitar, a modern (hybrid) crossover, an Archtop, Django Reinhardt style jazz guitar and even a Resonator acoustic, etc. etc.

Steel strings vs nylon strings

We won’t explain all the differences between these guitars here, but it would be best if we, for now, split the guitars in steel string vs nylon stringed instruments.
Please check this website with all the types of acoustic guitars.

In general acoustic guitars should be categorized in steel string vs. nylon stringed, as said before.

Nylon

Nylon strings tend to sound warmer and rounded. The sound of nylon strings lends itself well to classical and fingerstyle playing. Classical guitarists mostly play without a guitar pick. 

Steel strings

Steel strings sound, in relation to nylon strings, bright and more articulate and the have much more sustain and volume. Sustain is the time a note rings out after plucked. Steel strings also stay in tune longer than nylon strings.

Most used steel strings

For acoustic guitars we see mostly the next 3 kinds of strings made out of steel.

Bronze

These strings mostly consist of 80% copper and 20% zinc.
These strings provide a bright sound in the first few weeks and it will mellow over time.
This makes them great for meshing with other musicians in a band, but they lack more complex overtones when playing solo. They are popular for most acoustic guitar music styles.

Phosphor bronze 

Phosphor bronze strings, or 92/8 phosphor bronze guitar strings, are like 80/20 bronze strings but with an added phosphor element that increases the string’s life. The higher amount of copper provides a warmer tone.
Great for band musicians who want a balanced and consistent tone. Even after playing several shows with the same strings.

Steel & silk 

These strings have a steel center, surrounded with silk or nylon and wind metal around it.
Silk and steel acoustic strings offer a full and balanced sound with lower tension for lighter braced instruments. Guitar players also find these to be easier to fret and they are smoother overall. 

Most used for non-steel stringed guitars

Nylon strings

Nylon is a soft, smooth material that is easy on the fingers. It delivers a mellow tone with a signature “plucking” sound. They’re an excellent choice for classical, flamenco, and folk styles of music.
Some nylon strings are wrapped in a metal composite. They offer a pronounced brightness, but they may be a bit harsher on the fingertips than plain nylon strings. 

ChickenPicks guitar picks

Guitar picks

Guitar picks definitely have impact on guitar tone, whether you play electric or acoustic guitar.
And maybe more important; they have to fit your needs in playability and comfort.

You can choose between cheap standard picks like Fender mediums or Dunlop or any other flimsy guitar picks.
Or you could focus on high quality guitar picks such as boutique plectrums. These, in most cases, are thicker than the average standard pick.

Great guitar, but average quality guitar pick

People buy expensive guitars from let’s say $1,000 – $5,000 and much more.
But they might not buy the best guitar pick for acoustic and it may not cost more than just $1.00.
In my opinion it’s like cheap tires on a $100 – $200k sportscar.

It’s worth checking out different guitar picks and thicknesses on your beautiful guitar, as they can really get you a better sound and instant playing pleasure.

Of course, use what you think feels and sounds best to you. Here’s a short list of materials used for the main guitar picks on the market.

Factors to consider

  1. Material: Picks are made from various materials; each offering a different tone and feel.
    • Celluloid: Warm tone, traditional feel.
    • Nylon: Flexible, good for strumming.
    • Tortex: Durable, balanced tone.
    • Ultem: Bright tone, more durable.
    • Thermoset: Bright and balanced tone with more bottom-end, extremely durable

  2. Thickness: The thickness of the pick affects both the sound and playability.
    • Thin (0.45mm – 0.70mm): Bright tone, good for strumming. Minimal sustain. Bad for hand fatigue.
    • Medium (0.70mm – 0.85mm): Versatile, good for both strumming and picking. But bad for hand fatigue
    • Heavy (0.85mm – 1.8mm): Warm tone, good for precise picking. Mostly feels unbalanced and requires more effort to play with when using standard heavy picks.
    • Extra Heavy (2.0mm and above): Very warm tone, great for lead playing. Better grip because of the thickness and less hand fatigue.
  • Shape: Different shapes provide different comfort levels and playing techniques
    • Jazz: Smaller, pointed tip for precision. Perfect for more advanced guitar players
    • Standard 351: Most common, versatile and ergonomic grip
    • Teardrop: Smaller than standard, good for more complex playing styles
    • Triangular: Larger, easy to grip, offers multiple playing tips

Recommendations

  • For beginners: Although you could start with a standard medium thickness pick, why not start with something that will improve your playing from the start. My advice may be a standard shaped (351 model) pick with a 2.0 – 2.5mm thickness.
  • For strumming: You may go for a thinner pick (0.45mm – 0.70mm), when you just like to strum and sing with friends. It will provide a bright tone and be more forgiving when strumming chords. But if you’d like to be more precise and get some more volume out of your guitar, you could check for a thick guitar pick.
  • For solo and precision: Use a heavier pick (2.0mm and above). It provides more control and produces a warmer tone. The better- and looser grip helps avoiding hand fatigue.
Best guitar picks for acoustic

ChickenPicks guitar picks for acoustic

In fact, there is no specific guitar pick for electric- or acoustic guitar.
ChickenPicks guitar picks provides several picks that are perfect for electric- and acoustic guitar as well.

They’re made out of a thermosetting plastic called “Thermoset” which, in combination with the thickness of at least 2.0mm, provides more mass to the pick.
More mass means more tone (mid & bottom-end) on the one hand and easy to grip on the other hand.

Less fatigue

As said, thicker and heavier picks allow you to grip less firmly. As a result, there is less tension in the forearm of your picking hand, which also allows you to play faster with less effort.

Thick guitar picks have a larger gripping surface, so checking out some heavy picks, may help in finding the right pick for your needs.
To know more about the benefits of thicker guitar picks, please check the 9 reasons to consider thick guitar picks blog.
You may also be interested in how to make your guitar sound better in general.

Beveled edges

The thicker the pick, the more you will see beveled edges. These help you gliding off of the strings very easily. The sharp edges provide articulate- and accurate picking.
We have a blog about these beveled edges, which will make it easy to understand the importance and benefits of beveled edges in general.

The best pick thickness for acoustic

You may think that guitar picks have to be flexible. But for a number of reasons we say: the best pick thickness for acoustic is quite thick. The reason; the pick has to be more rigid for better tone and control.
Depending on the material, thicker picks are more rigid than thin picks in general.

Reasons why not to use flexible guitar picks

  • Flexible guitar picks cause delay to your playing. That should be ok with just strumming, but with playing single note lines, you don’t want that.
  • When your pick bends, you will not be able to control the movements of the pick itself.
    You cannot pick the notes accurately enough, especially when you play single note lines or solos.

A rigid pick allows you to better control the picking hand, because you control the pick and you have to grip not too tightly.
Gripping less firmly may have the same effect as a flexible pick, but now you are able to control it with the pressure of your fingers.
Read more about why most high quality guitar picks are thick and rigid.

ChickenPicks guitar picks for acoustic

  • For standard 351 model picks we’d recommend the Light 2.2 or Regular 2.6mm.
  • When you prefer triangular picks, please take a look at the Bermuda III picks.
  • And when you like these Bermuda III picks even larger, you might also like the Bermuda III-XL.
  • Of course, we offer more different picks, but talking about guitar picks for acoustic, these 4 are the best in my opinion.
  • We also have variety packs, which allow you to test-drive different pick at a discounted price

Pick sizes chart

For all pick sizes and technical information, please check the pick sizes chart on our website.
Of course, most of our products are perfect as bass guitar picks as well as Mandolin picks.

How to hold a guitar pick

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip. The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
The index finger should be behind read more…

Summary: best guitar picks for acoustic

You may see the above guidelines for helping you on your way to find a good pick for acoustic guitar.best
But ultimately, the best pick is the one that feels most comfortable and sounds best to you.

It might be helpful to buy a variety pack with different materials, thicknesses, and shapes to experiment and find your perfect match.

You may always send me an email if you have any further questions about it.

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

Musikhaus Thomann
Chicago Music Exchange
Guitarpickreviews.com

Guitar essentials:

In guitar essentials we write about interesting things every guitarist should know a bit of, especially when you’re new to (electric) guitar.
We definitely don’t dig deep into theories or technical aspects.
You will find many scientific documents about anything somewhere on the internet.

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks, because we’d like to see if others would enjoy them as well.
I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks 🙂

Small guitar picks

Are small picks better? You can’t say that, as guitar picks have always to fit someone’s preferences in terms of control, articulation, size and other aspects. You like it, or you don’t.
In fact, there are no bad or wrong shapes of plectrums.

Small plectrums seem to appear in a special place in the plectrum world. That is a fact.
Many people love the original 351 shaped pick models or regular triangle picks.

But why should you use a pick that you can barely see between your fingers?
We asked some small plectrum fans and the answers we received were absolutely interesting, with mixed perspectives.

Small guitar picks

In short, the highlights

  1. Precision and Control: Smaller plectrums allow for more precise control over individual strings, making them ideal for playing lead guitar, soloing, and fast shredding. The reduced size means less material gets in the way. This enables quicker and more accurate string contact.
  2. Speed: For guitarists who play fast, such as metal players, small ones can help increase speed. The shorter distance between the thumb and the tip of the pick reduces the time it takes to move between strings. The movement of the pick is equal to the movement of your picking hand. You could say that a longer (standard-) guitar plectrum has some kind of leverage between your fingers and the tip of the pick.
  3. Comfort: Some players find smaller picks more comfortable to hold. The compact size can fit more snugly between the fingers, reducing hand fatigue during long playing sessions.
  4. Articulation: Small guitar plectrums can provide a brighter and more articulate sound, especially useful in genres where clarity and note definition are crucial. Remarkable is that the main styles of guitar playing people use small guitar plectrums, are Jazz and metal.

Versatility, preference and style

While small picks are often associated with specific styles, they can be used across various genres, offering versatility to the player who might switch between rhythm and lead parts frequently.

Ultimately, the choice of pick size is highly personal and depends on the player’s style and preference. Some guitarists simply feel more connected to their instrument and more in control with a smaller pick.

Small plectrums at ChickenPicks guitar picks

When you finally found your favorite small sized guitar plectrum shape, check what we have to offer. And all of our products can be used as bass guitar- and mandolin picks as well.

Shredder

The Shredder is one of our smallest with beveled edges and a rounded tip.
The are available in a 2.4 & 3.5mm thickness, which you might find too thick at a first glance.

Please note that all Shredder users were Dunlop Jazz II and small teardrop guitar plectrums users before they discovered the ChickenPicks guitar picks Shredder 2.4 or 3.5mm.
Our picks are extremely easy to play with and you will be amazed by how easy it is to play fast single note runs.

Find your rounded tip small guitar picks here at Shredder picks.

Shredder guitar pick


Badazz III

The Badazz III picks are our small picks with an extremely sharp tip and beveled edges all around.
These Badazz III picks are available in 2.0, 2.5 & 3.2mm. There’s a good variety of thicknesses available.

Badazz III

Beveled edges

The beveled edges allow you to glide off of the strings very easily without the need of slanting the pick in a certain way.
The extremely sharp edges deliver a crips and clear bright tone with tons of bottom-end and nice mid.

Find your Extremely pointy small plectrums here at Badazz III picks.

Beveled edges

Variety sets

If you’re not sure what to choose, you could always check our variety sets in general.

For small picks in particular check these below.

Pick sizes chart
Check for all sizes and measurements the guitar picks sizes chart.
Of course, most of our picks are perfect for bass guitar as well.

Best picks for acoustic guitar

Although acoustic guitars are different to electric guitar at some point, there is no specific guitar pick for acoustic guitars.
Finding out what the best ones for acoustic are for you, means that you have to check out different models, thicknesses and materials.
In another Guitar Essentials we wrote some useful guidelines for choosing the best picks for acoustic.

You might also like to read the following blogs about guitar picks

Here you can read the story about why I started to make my own guitar picks in the mid-1980’s.

Also learn what kinds of pick noise there are and how to get rid of it, by changing settings on guitar or amp. Or even when using different guitar picks, like boutique guitar picks that are manufactured to solve problems that standard plectrums offer.

The question if guitar picks should be flexible or not is interesting if you wonder what kinds of picks you need.
And why thick guitar in many situations are better than thin picks.

How to hold a guitar pick

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip. The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
The index finger should be behind read more…

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

The verdict on small plectrums

Different guitarists have different preferences, and what works well for one player might not suit another.

The choice of pick, including its size, thickness, and material, is a crucial part of a guitarist’s personal setup. Just try different styles of picks and find out what suits you best.

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks, because we’d like to see if others would enjoy them as well.

I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks

Beveled guitar picks

Beveled guitar picks

Beveled guitar picks are (mostly) thicker guitar picks (plectrums) designed with a shape that narrows at one end, as opposed to a traditional flat edge.
In some cases, only the tip is beveled, but many picks have beveled edge all over.
Another word for beveled may be tapered.

Beveled guitar picks

Slanted angle picking

Slanted means that the pick is turned slightly clockwise or even counter-clockwise.
This helps the pick moving flawless on- and off the strings. This prevents the pick from kind of snagging to the strings and slow down the picking.

You might have noticed that many guitar players, while using standard flat picks, play with a slanted angle, when playing fast single note lines.
With standard flat picks I mean Dunlop or Fender medium guitar picks or any other brand of course.

Built in slanted edge

With beveled edge picks, you don’t have to turn the pick for slanting. The bevel is some kind of built in slanted edge. This is one of the reasons these picks play easier than thin rigid picks.

At least 2.0mm thick

Already said, beveled edges will be featured with thicker than usual picks. Let’s say with at least 2.0mm thick boutique picks. This beveling can be applied to one or more sides of the pick.
The main purpose of the bevel is to make it easier to glide on and off the strings making it easier for you to play guitar.

Bermuda III-P guitar picks or plectrums

Boutique picks

As we are talking about thicker- and special created picks, most picks classify for boutique picks.
Most of them are hand made or hand finished and made out of a special material, other than standard plastic.
We wrote a blog about boutique guitar picks, with the pros & cons. Of course all the products classify for bass guitar picks as well as mandolin picks as well.

More comfortable than you might think

A beveled guitar pick feels very comfortable, even when we’re talking about small picks or even significant larger picks.
At a first glance, especially when you are familiar with thin and cheap plastic picks it might feel weird. But within 5 minutes you don’t want to get back to the cheap flappy guitar picks.

Best guitar picks for acoustic guitar

Although acoustic guitars are different to electric guitar at some point, there is no specific guitar pick for acoustic guitars.
Finding out what the best guitar picks for acoustic are for you, means that you have to check out different models, thicknesses and materials.
In another Guitar Essentials we wrote some useful guidelines for choosing the best picks for acoustic.

The pros

  • Improved Speed and Control: The beveled edge allows the pick to glide more smoothly across the strings, reducing resistance and making it easier to play fast single note lines and even strum funky and rocking rhythms.
  • Better Tone: Boutique beveled guitar picks produce a cleaner, more defined attack on the strings with less pick noise. They produce a pronounced loud and bright tone with lot of bottom-end, of course depending on the materials
  • Comfort: The bevel can make the pick feel more ergonomic, fitting the natural curve of the player’s fingers better and reducing hand fatigue during long playing sessions. Most boutique picks are extremely rigid, because flexible picks will affect you playing and in a negative way.
    For more information you should check the 9 reasons to consider thick guitar picks.
  • Variety of Bevels: Guitar pick bevels can be customized to suit different playing styles. For instance, a right-handed player might prefer a different bevel angle than a left-handed player, and some picks may feature bevels designed for specific techniques like sweep picking or strumming.

    Standard for both left- and right-handed guitarists
    At ChickenPicks guitar picks we only have identical beveled edges, usable for both right- and left-handed guitar players and whatever playing style/techniques.

Made from different materials

Boutique picks can be made from various materials, including plastic, nylon, acrylic, and even metals and wood. Each contributing to the overall feel and sound.
Usually most of the boutique picks are made of acrylic or some other synthetic material.


ChickenPicks guitar picks

ChickenPicks guitar picks are unique in the world of picks, because they are made of a thermosetting plastic called “Thermoset”.
This is the hardest kind of plastic you can imagine, which makes it longer lasting.

ChickenPicks Bermuda III guitar picks
ChickenPicks guitar picks Bermuda III picks

My story on beveled guitar picks

When I was 17 or 18 years old in the mid ‘80’s I wanted to play a heavier pick for better sound.
I played a nylon 0.6mm Scotty’s pick until then. But the heavy picks back then were no good boutique picks. Only a 2.0mm Dunlop (the purple one) and it did not fit my needs in terms of comfort. And it sounded dull as well.
Read my full story here.
Actually at this moment it is the Regular 2.6 in the ChickenPicks guitar picks range.

How to hold a guitar pick correctly

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip. The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
The index finger should be behind read more…

Better tone

These picks deliver a pronounced loud and bright tone with lots of clear bottom-end, because of the higher mass of the material in combination with the thickness.
The sound of ChickenPicks guitar picks is clear and bright and it works well on how to make your guitar sound better.

Perfect bass guitar picks

ChickenPicks guitar picks are all perfect bass guitar picks. Check the guitar picks size chart for your best fit.
The thickness and material will let the strings sound great on bass guitars.
Bermuda III-XL (alias The Bass Pick) officially was developed as a bass guitar pick, but many electric- and acoustic guitar player use it as their favorite guitar pick.

Less hand fatigue / less effort for fast single note runs

Because you don’t have to grip too firmly, there’s less forearm tension. When playing with thin picks for many hours, it may cause hand fatigue. With thicker and heavier picks this won’t happen.
And because of less forearm tension, it is easier to play fast riffs with less effort.
You will be amazed how easy it is to shred and how good it sounds.

Google reviews ChickenPicks
Check our Google reviews and add one if you’re happy with our products.

Guitar essentials

In guitar essentials we write about interesting things every guitarist should know a bit of, especially when you’re new to (electric) guitar.
We definitely don’t dig deep into theories or technical aspects.
You will find many scientific documents about anything somewhere on the internet.

About the author


Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s. In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I thought that it may be interesting to look if other people also would like my idea of picks.
I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks 🙂

Pick noise and how to avoid

Avoiding Pick noise

We have all experienced some kind of noise when picking the strings of your guitar. These scratchy sounds, called pick noise or string picking noise, is what some love, some hate.

But what causes this high frequency scratching noise and how to get rid of it?
In this blog we’ll tell you the ins and outs of this so-called pick noise.

11 ways to get rid of pick noise

1: Pick farther from the bridge

2: Change to new on a regularly base when using cheap and soft picks

3: Switch to mid- or neck pickup instead of using the bridge pickup

4: Improve your picking techniques: (pick slanting, economy picking)

5: Try different picks, including some boutique guitar picks made of different materials

6: Try different strings

7: Adjust tone setting on your guitar first, followed by amp settings

8: Use a compressor

9: Practice synchronization between picking- and fretting hand.

10: Don’t grip too firmly

11: Try picks with sharp tips vs. round tips; try to find out what works best for you.

2 different reasons, 2 different sounds of scratchy noises

First of all, it is important to know what exactly you are hearing when you experience picking noise.

Regarding this, know that there may be:

  • Sound of the string bouncing against the pick, before actually picking the string.
  • The string gliding off of the plectrum, while the plectrum surface is damaged or a bit jagged. This increases so-called “pick chirp”.

String bouncing against the pick

The reason for a string to sound is the fact that it vibrates in a variety of frequencies or Hertz (Hz) per second.

The frequency rate determines the pitch of a sound wave. In fact, the A (5th pos. on the high E-string) usually has a rate of 440 Hz. One octave higher (high E-string 17th fret) the

frequency increases up to ca. 880 Hz and so on and on. So, in this case you will never be fast enough hitting the string without the string slapping back against the pick a few times. The only thing you can do is lessen the sound it creates.

Bouncing against the string and pick material

While the string may vibrate up to 1 – 2 kHz (and even more), the string may bounce a few times against the guitar pick, before finally “picking” the string. As a result of this, the guitar pickup will also amplify the sound of the string slapping back against the plectrum. Especially when picking fast while keeping the plectrum very close to the strings. No matter if the plectrum is made out of a softer or harder material.

(un-) wanted under- & over tones

Besides the vibrations of a certain tone, the string has also different vibrations which gives the tone “color”. As a result of this, there are under- and overtones as well. For now, it is unimportant if these are pleasant or not. Read about this at: Change the picking position up and down the neck.

Jagged pick surface causing pick noise

Here we’ll talk about the other scratching noise you may experience.

Jagged edges cause pick noise Especially guitar picks made out of softer materials like celluloid, acrylic, nylon or tortex, may be damaged by the extremely harder material of the metal strings. Especially when the picks have been abusively played, like shredding metal riffs etc.

Although you might not see immediately, but the surface may have been jagged on a microscopic level.
This jagged surface will produce a pronounced scratching sound and in this case the guitar pickups will amplify this as well.

Buy new picks more often when using cheap picks

Using already used picks will produce more noises, since they get a jagged edge. Referring to this, using cheaper guitar picks may become more expensive than using a higher quality guitar pick, which might be made out of a harder or dense material.

In most cases high quality guitar picks often are made of a harder material. Harder materials result in less wear and a glossier surface.

The closer to the bridge, the louder the picking noise

We already spoke about the high frequencies, which amplify the plectrum noise the most.

Closer to the bridge and using the bridge pickup, the picking noise has a strong presence in the overall guitar tone. And the more distortion or (natural) overdrive has been used, the pick noise will be heard more clearly. The reason for this is that high gain tones have more high frequencies. These have more presence than mid- and bass tones in the overall sound.

How to hold a guitar pick

Place the guitar pick on top of your index finger with a little less than let’s say 6mm sticking out past the fingertip.
The pick is sandwiched between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
Your index finger should be behind read more…

Is pick noise always unwanted?

No, but that is totally up to anybody’s preference.
In many cases it gives kind of personality to your tone, but it must not sound like overkill.

Just a small amount of picking noise may sound very nice. That said, when there is absolutely no picking sound, the guitar sounds too flat in most situations. 
In my opinion a nice percussive pick attack sounds very nice when strumming and playing solos. For instance, Yngwie Malmsteen plays with a lot of pick attack and in my opinion that does not sound bad at all.

Pick noise can add texture and character to a guitar’s sound, contributing to the overall tone and feel of a performance. Some guitarists embrace pick noise as part of their playing style, others may want to minimize it.
Some boutique picks create a very pleasant kinda pick noise.

Boutique guitar picks in general

All of our picks classify for boutique guitar picks, which is a term for picks with a certain shape and made out of special materials. The sound of these picks is clear and bright and it works well on how to make your guitar sound better.
We wrote an interesting article about boutique guitar picks in general. Read more here.

How to get rid of pick noise in general

Upon checking guitar forums on the internet, many people explain what the reason is for that scratchy noise. And they all know how to solve the problem.
The problem is, that actually there’s not one reason that causes the noise and so there is not one way to solve the “problem”.
To reduce the scratchy noise made by a guitar pick, you can try several techniques.

Work on your picking technique:

To avoid the scratching noise using a flat pick, there are some different techniques that may help. Pick slanting in different ways may help playing faster, but it might not always be the way to solve the problem of picking noise. I.e., using pick slanting wit softer material picks, cause more jagged edges to these picks. ChickenPicks guitar picks are made of the hardest plastic material available. This makes them very adaptive to pick slanting.

You might also want to try different pick shapes and sizes to see if different picks makes your picking technique easier. There definitely is a difference in this, between large- and small guitar picks and the way to hold on to them.

Use your mid- and/or neck pickup instead of the bridge pickup:

This instantly will lessen the chirp or pick noise, because the bridge pickup will amplify the higher frequencies more than the other pickups.

When playing solos in the higher regions of the fretboard many of the professional guitar players switch to the neck pickup to avoid high frequency scratchy tones.

Switching to the neck pickup, the high notes will sound rounder instead of very aggressive and unpleasantly loud.

Not only the tones in the high positions will sound more pleasant. Also the scratchy picking noise may be tamed a bit.

You might also think of reducing the volume on your guitar. But again, these techniques will affect your tone immensely. You may wonder if this is desirable for the tone you’re looking for.

Pick slanting: Trailing edge picking vs Leading edge picking

Angling the downward or upward and the force applied, gives a smaller point of contact with the strings. With this technique only the edge contacts the strings, instead of the large flat surface.

This might be a well working way to pick strings faster with less effort. This means that you are picking with an angled pick position.

  • Trailing edge picking means that the side of the pick closer to the bridge hits the strings first.
  • Leading edge (also reverse slant) picking is the opposite; you hit the strings first with the side of the pick that is closer to the neck of the guitar.

Using both Leading- or Trailing edge picking might create more picking noise on wound strings. So, use less “edge” picking on lower strings. 

Change the picking position up and down the neck

To stop the scratching noise, try to pick your strings farther from the bridge. Playing this way may get you little fewer high frequencies in picking attack.

In other words, when you pick your strings closer to the “neck pickup”, there might be no picking noise anyway.

Harmonics: nodes and Antinodes

You will notice different sounding picking noises every few millimeters you pick up and down the strings near the bridge. This is caused as strings vibrate as a sinusoidal wave. They’re moving in almost infinite patterns, called harmonics.

The resulted sound depends on the placement of the pickups along the vibration pattern of the string (scale).

The points where the strings do not move are nodes. The peaks and valleys are “antinodes”. Nodes and Antinodes

Each successive partial harmonic is a progressive mathematical set of the fundamental note.
The second harmonic, for example, is nothing more than the fundamental divided into two parts that correspond to the first octave. This has a node in the center of the string (the harmonic that we normally use to tune the octaves).
That said, the string has many nodes (and antinodes) near the bridge and much of the noise created may be just harmonics.

It is important to understand that the sound of that string is not only made by the fundamental. Also all the subsequent partial harmonics that vibrate at the same time determine part of the tone.
(image courtesy: www.frudua.com/how-guitar-string-vibrate.htm)

Economy picking vs alternate picking

Some people think that the key to prevent from picking noises could be reached by changing the picking style. In other words, economy picking might cause less noise in relation to just using alternate picking. Economy picking could be subscribed as less alternated picking over different strings.

Imagine a certain riff played as follows: DOWN-UP, DOWN-DOWN-UP, DOWN-DOWN-UP, DOWN-UP etc. etc…

But these kinds of techniques may be very difficult to become the standard of your playing, especially when you already play in your own style for many years not using this technique.

Try different picks:

Different shapes, a variety of thicknesses and different materials may differ the way you play. And as a result, your sound may be changing as well. This may attribute to less picking noise as the materials and shapes of guitar picks all affect your tone. You might think that a guitar may not be important to the overall tone of your guitar, but the opposite is true.

Thickness and material of the pick determine which tones of your strings will ring the most. In this case high- midrange- or lower bottom-end tones.

Usually, the best guitar tones have a nice combination of all these tones together. In other words, a nice distribution of the total tonal spectrum will ring out when hitting the strings.

You will find the right pick for you at ChickenPicks guitar picks. These picks won’t disappoint you in terms of pick noise.

Bermuda III Pointy .      ChickenPicks Light, Regular and Shredder         Badazz III guitar picks

Pick abrasion to avoid pick noise or chirp

Some higher quality picks provide an A-symmetrical wear pattern added during production. This gives you already flattened pick edges in one way.

This might help you lessen picking noise while playing lower strings. The edges are not as sharp as usual. A-symmetrical wear pattern

On the other hand, you might have a problem with these picks when you are playing in slanted positions.

ChickenPicks guitar picks always have abrased sides all over. So, slanting the pick in any way won’t be a problem and you won’t have these annoying pick noises. At ChickenPicks guitar picks, we these symmetrical kind of wear patters “beveled edges”.

Explore pick alternatives to lessen picking noises

Most guitar players use flat picks, but you might consider other ways of playing guitar.
Think about finger style playing or thumb picks to avoid picking noise.

Best guitar picks for acoustic guitar

Although acoustic guitars are different to electric guitar at some point, there is no specific guitar pick for acoustic guitars.
Finding out what the best guitar picks for acoustic, bass guitar or mandolin are for you, means that you have to check out different models, thicknesses and materials.
In another Guitar Essentials we wrote some useful guidelines for choosing the best picks for acoustic.

Consider using different strings:

Using other strings, or thicker strings may help a bit, but in most cases it’s not the strings that cause the problem. So go and check some other variables as well.

Adjust tone setting on your guitar:

Especially when using the bridge pick a lot of brightness may cause increased unwanted overtones. Drop some midrange in the EQ and you will lessen the pick attack. After dropping down the tone knob on your guitar, you might consider turning up the highs on your amp. Most of the pick scratching and snapping sounds are high frequency, so it lessens them quite a bit by not letting them into signal chain in the first place. This works better than compensate for them afterwards.

As a result, your tone alters with it. So, if this won’t solve the problem, please check other suggestions that may help avoiding scratching pick sounds.

Use a compressor:

Electric guitars in particular create a very dynamic sound, especially when playing loud with clean tones. A compressor will flatten the peaks and valleys in the tone spectrum. So, it might help using a compressor to push extreme picking noises to the back as well.

But as for many of the answers, this might not solve your problem. This is because a compressor may change the tone of your guitar into something you do not want.

Scratching noise due to the plectrum surface:

Make sure your pick is in good condition, because picks will always wear.
As a result, wear creates a rough texture. Rougher surfaces increase pick noise or so-called chirp.
Some playing styles cause picks to wear very fast, others not as much, of course.
And referring to this, when using extended techniques like pick slides or scrapes, your picks can become very damaged almost immediately.

Practice synchronization between both hands:

A lot of inconsistency and extraneous noise often attributed to “picking hand technique” actually is an issue of synchronization between both the left- and right hand.

If your fretting-hand finger is not making it to the note early enough, you will get a “clack” from the right hand if it leaves the note too soon. In this situation you’ll might get extraneous noise as well.

Practicing you legato slowly and make it feel effortless, may solve this problem.

More ways to avoid guitar pick noise:

You might try to hold your guitar picks with less tension. To make this happen easily, you need a thicker plectrum with more mass. Otherwise, with a thin pick holding it loose, the pick may slip out of your hands. And you’re missing midrange and bottom-end tone this way as well.

To avoid the chirping sound or pick noise, it may help to use thicker picks as mentioned. Thinking of that, it’s important to have a more beveled edge for letting the plectrum easily glide through the strings.

Also, try if you reach a good result with sharper tip picks like the BADAZZ III, or rounder tip pick like the SHREDDER or the REGULAR And LIGHT.

For bass guitar read our blog about bass guitar picks.

 

What others say about ChickenPicks guitar picks

Musikhaus Thomann
Chicago Music Exchange
Guitarpickreviews.com

 

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Is guitar scale length important?

About the author

Hi, my name is Eppo Franken and I started to make my own picks in the mid ’80’s.
In 2010 my wife Jolanda and I started ChickenPicks guitar picks.
I play guitar since 1980 and my favorite style is country chicken picking and some kinds of rockabilly.
Send us an e-mail and let’s talk about guitar tone and picks 🙂